January 17, 2008 7 Comments

This time last year I was planning a trip to LA, I remember I had spent a few days at home working late nights clearing my emails out – I had 20 items in my inbox.

Every day I cleared my mails, and this lasted a week until I went to LA – emails snowballed from there.

There are times in the past year I’ve worked to clear the back load – and it certainly takes longer than you would think.

My inbox is currently sitting on the nice round number of 5. With three zeros following it. 5000. How the heck did that happen?

My ‘unread items’ box covers my whole email, folders and all. It currently states 19,810.

I file stuff without reading…obviously.

For the record, my gmail currently has 2042 in the inbox, all read, 55 starred items. 4649 spam….all unread.

Think anyone would mind if I just delete everything?

White Rabbit

January 17, 2008 Leave a Comment

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, please move along.

For those of you who followed the white rabbit, I thank you.

I mentioned in my last post, Google Images, that I was getting a lot of hits on a particular post of another blog. I asked that you click on a link if you had arrived at the site via a google image search as that is a good, though not foolproof, indication to me of how many people are actually reading the post and how many are actually just looking at a particular image and not looking at the site itself.

The fact you have clicked on the link shows to me that you are indeed reading, and that is appreciated as it helps me understand further how many real visitors the site is receiving.

Thank you, and good day.

Google Images

January 14, 2008 3 Comments

One of my blogs has been receiving a lot of traffic lately. It averages at about 300 visits per day, with twice as many page views, and pretty much all goes to one post which is sitting just now on just under 6000 total visits.

The problem is, all of the hits seem to be coming via google images, where an image on the site has a very generic term and appears on page 2 of Google’s image search. Therefore, these aren’t real visitors that I can actually tally up and make use of.

I’ve spent a little time this evening looking around the internet finding out how I should best maximise this traffic, and for the first time I found out about the Google Image Labeler. Basically, you’re paired up with a random partner and you both view the same image for which you have to enter keywords. Google want to use it as a way to get better hits for their image searches – I like to use it as a little game, and also as a way to see how other people view images and if we both see the same thing.

So, the following image came on screen:

Sheikh Zayed

I started tapping in my immediate thoughts on this image: arab, arabic, sheikh, sultan, emirates.

My ‘partner’ made a few guesses and then hit the ‘pass’ button, which I also then hit so we could move onto the next image.

After we had done, with a rather unremarkable 660 points, I checked out what he had written for the images we had been presented with – and his keywords for the above image were: terrorist, muslim, jesus, middle eastren

So…next time you’re doing a search on google and you happen across an image that you really can’t link to the term you entered, you can thank the meeting of two idiotic minds who happen to be labelling images at the same time.

Student Loan

January 7, 2008 2 Comments

A couple of months ago I mentioned in Financial Times that I was going to pay off my student loan so that I can start 2008 afresh.

This has been done. Hurrah.

Now I have a few further tasks to accomplish that I should have done a long time ago…and these are as follows.

1. Pension plan. Work will be setting these up soon so I will be opting into it as soon as they do.

2. Mini Cash ISA. I will be looking into setting one of these up this month so that I can start saving a set amount per month, leaving room to deposit partial poker winnings should I be lucky enough to have any this year.

3. Get myself on the road to a good credit rating. At the present time my credit rating sucks. I applied for a Smile and an Egg credit card over the weekend and was rejected by both for having bad credit rating. Why do I have a bad credit rating? Simply because I’ve never used a credit card.

It’s catch 22. I don’t even want a credit card now. I’m happy spending the money I have and not putting things onto a card for future payment. I got a store card once for the sofa bed that I bought many years ago and didn’t even like that – I paid the sofa off the following month just to get rid of it.

However, important things such as moving home and entering into a contract with an agency or landlord mean they will look at credit rating, and my having a bad one could affect the decision they make. So I need to take the necessary steps to improving mine over the next few years, regardless of how little I want a credit card.

I aim to leave it in a drawer, make a few purchases once every quarter and pay it off, just to try and build it up. I’ll get a rubbish card to start with, with bad rates, but over a few years I should hopefully be able to get accepted elsewhere and get a better card that I can just ignore but have to pay less for doing so, until I eventually get a decent enough credit rating that I don’t have to be concerned about it in the future.

I haven’t made any resolutions this year…but I feel doing these will get it off to a good start.

Binocular Football

January 2, 2008 Leave a Comment

Those crazy wacky Japanese are up to their usual hijinx and amusing me yet again with their funny ways. This time in the form of a football game, only the players have a pair of binoculars strapped to their heads so that everything appears closer than it is.